Thursday, April 24, 2003

Some Good News


Art focus on black women

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Brian Joiner has boxing in his blood, but art in his soul.

His black women series on display at the YWCA Women's Art Gallery downtown is a combination of both - the artistic finesse and physical dexterity in boxing, and portrait paintings that reveal an artistic inner expression of the soul.

He had plenty of chances to fight as the son of a heavyweight boxer, Billy Joiner, and uncles who fought and trained boxers.

"Each neighborhood we moved in, as soon as they learned that our father was a professional boxer, the fights came," Joiner said. "I used it as self defense."

His grandmother, Evangeline Joiner, saw in him the artistry he couldn't see.

"As long as I can remember, she used to give me books and she and my mother (Irene) used to take me to the library," he said.

"I couldn't see what they were talking about."

As a senior at Wyoming High School, Joiner began to develop an interest in art.

He went on to graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1985, but found the art world a closed society to black art.

"I became frustrated and bitter," he said.

Joiner went on a mission to change how people think about black art.

His show, 100 portraits of black women from all walks of life, captured the bundled up feelings he had.

"I painted prostitutes, homeless women, women in business and professions, housewives, capturing lifestyles, facial expressions, voice, pitch, gestures, moods and colors," he said.

The 20 black women in his YWCA series have served on the Board of Directors of the YWCA.

The show is dedicated to the memory of his grandmother, the first African-American board president of the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati.

It runs through June 13.

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Volunteers are needed for the Taste of Cincinnati May 24-26.

The theme is "The Art of Eating," to salute the opening of the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art and the Cincinnati Wing of the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2003.

To volunteer, call Chris Hooven at 579-3191.

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Board members Tim Sisson and Don Patrick of the Western Wildlife Corridor Inc. have donated land to the corridor for preservation.

Sisson and his family donated an acre of land in Delhi Township and two parcels in Addyston.

Patrick donated eight parcels in Delhi Township, bringing to 27 the number of parcels Patrick has donated to the corridor.

Allen Howard's "Some Good News'' column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at ahoward@enquirer.com or by fax at 768-8340.




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